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Guild Wars 2 Diary #30: The Hylek

Guild Wars 2 The Hylek gameplay

After a few months of side-tracking and playing through updates, it was finally time to continue on with the story. We’d proven ourselves as a member of the Vigil, but it was time to find out which of the smaller species were on our side, and which were helping the dragon and his army of Risen. The first group we decided to learn more about were the Hylek, the frog like people who you’ve probably come across at some time during your exploration of Tyria. Unfortunately, they’re not huge fans of outsiders.

Guild Wars 2 gameplay - Diary episode #30

The Champion’s Sacrifice

You arrive – surprise, surprise – just as an argument begins between two Hyleks. The first Hylek’s brother was once champion for the tribe, but he’s been sent into a cave on the coast and hasn’t returned, just like all the champions sent into the cave. This is a regular occurrence and after watching his brother give everything for the Hylek race, Ikniu wants to bring him back and stop the sacrifices.

As just part of the way of life for the Hylek people, nobody wants to listen. Luckily, you arrive just in time, and Ikniu accepts your help.

You’ll need to follow Ikniu through the area and down the beach, fighting everything you come across as you go. For this first part of the journey, you’ll be fighting Eagle Raptors and Ridgeback Skale. There are three of you – you, Ikniu and Kernsson – and no single enemy poses much of a threat, but it’s worth letting your health recharge between battles (especially as you get further along the coast). This will ensure that you don’t end up falling at any point.

If you absolutely want to avoid damage along here, equip a ranged weapon. Kernsson is strong enough that he’ll survive any battle and distract the enemy as you slowly drain their health from a distance. This is a nice strategy for weaker players, although don’t over-rely on it. If you don’t kill them quickly, these enemies may well turn on you.

Guild Wars 2 Diary episode 30 - screenshot 1

The Skale are easy enough to defeat, even in groups, but the raptors can be surprisingly resilient. Keep pounding away at them with special moves, especially things that do a lot of damage over a short amount of time, and have your health refill powers/items ready for use as well.

As you get closer to the cave – it won’t take long – you’ll start coming across a new sort of enemy. The Risen are coming from the cave – not a good omen for Ikniu’s brother. The Risen are far more difficult than the Skale or Raptors, and the Brutes especially are worth looking at for. At this part of the level, Ikniu will start falling, so be prepared to revive him between combat.

The Risen also manage to travel in slightly larger groups, so be ready with health items if needed, and don’t be surprised if you end up overrun and if you fall to the ground. The brute can literally make you fall to the ground, interrupting your move as you go. If you find this happening often, switch to a ranged weapon and let Kernsson take the blunt of the attack.

One the cave entrance is clear, a cutscene of Ikniu rushing into the cave will play. There he finds his brother, an undead Risen. This once great champion has been transformed into little more than a zombie under the power of the dragon, and the Hylek have been providing a steady stream of these great soldiers for far too long. Do they know what they’ve been doing? Do they understand that their sacrifice is doing more harm than good?

None of this matters for now. For now you must defeat Ikniu’s brother.

Guild Wars 2 Diary episode 30 - screenhot 2

Frog’s Head

Fighting with Ikniu’s brother, Sabiti, is probably the biggest challenge of this level, although that says more about the level than the difficulty of fighting Sabiti. Try and position yourself behind him and you’ll be almost half way through the fight before he turns on you. Having full health as he nears death is a very good position to be in, but beware his poison attacks. He can inflict statuses that will reduce your health even when he’s not directly attacking you, so be quick to dodge if it looks like you’re going to get caught.

With only one enemy and two allies fighting alongside you, this shouldn’t prove too difficult, especially if you use your allies to your advantage. Before long, the champion will drop, and you’re left deciding how to prove what has happened in the cave.

Ikniu suggests cutting off his brother’s head.

Burden of Proof

Now you must go and confront the high priestess, open her eyes to the atrocities that she is responsible for. Thankfully, the Hylek camp is only around the corner, and you’ll have absolutely no interruption in getting there. It’s not worth running too fast though, as you won’t be allowed in unless accompanied by Ikniu, and like all NPC leads in this game, he’s in no rush to keep up with you.

Guild Wars 2 Diary episode 30 - screenshot 3

When Ikniu arrives, you’ll be allowed into the camp. As you walk through, you’ll learn a few things about the frog-like Hyleks, about their culture and religion, but there’s no sign of the high priestess. You’re told that she is preparing a new ritual and that you must not interrupt her with any more of Ikniu’s anti-sacrifice nonsense. She wouldn’t believe that this is the head of Ikniu’s brother, because she believes he’d try anything to stop the sacrifice and, she feels, put the tribe at risk.

This leaves us with two options. You can either go and confront the high priestess or you can win an upcoming competition and become the new champion of the Hylek people. Either way, you’re going to need to prove your strength and come out on top. Do you have what it takes?


I chose the competition. It seems like the high priestess is either in on the dragon’s plan and knows she’s been sending champions to turn people undead – it’s a bit of an obvious twist – or she doesn’t know and will have either a change of heart after a spot of combat, or she’ll go crazy with remorse and you’ll end up with a touch of combat. It sounds more interesting to become the champion of the Hylek people, despite Kernsson’s warning not to grandstand.

As champion, we may be able to put a stop to this entire thing, and maybe then we’ll see the high priestess for what she actually is. It’ll all work out well in the end.

What do you think?

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